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Poster: Moongleam Date: Apr 20, 2012 9:02pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Woman of Straw (1964)

This is a U.K. film, so it must still be copyrighted.

If it were a U.S. film, it would still be under copyright today, unless it lacked a valid copyright notice. Renewal would be automatic.

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Poster: billymays55 Date: Apr 21, 2012 12:52am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Woman of Straw (1964)

Just because it's a UK film, how does that automatically make it copyright?

Yes it does have a valid notice, but the claimant is Novus Films Limited? I'm sure they are long out of business. It only ended up in the MGM library because it was distributed by United Artists. MGM renews everything so why didn't they renew this movie? Because they didn't have a chain of title.



Attachment: womanofstrawnotice.png

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Poster: Administrator, Curator, or StaffVideo-Cellar Date: Apr 21, 2012 1:48am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Woman of Straw (1964)

The film contains a valid notice. It was properly registered. This is the registration:

WOMAN OF STRAW. Novus Films, London.
Released in the U.S. by United
Artists Corp. 117 mln., sd., color,
35 mm. Eastman color. From the
novel by Catherine Arley. (c) Novus
Films, Ltd.; 30Apr64 ; LP29154 .

For a film published 1964-1977 the registration renewal is automatic and there is no requirement to file a renewal for the copyright the endure into the second and extension terms. There is no possibility that this film has entered the public domain in the US because it was properly registered and contains a valid notice.

The British company that made the film Novus Films (AKA Michael Relph Productions) was an unit of the family of companies that later became EMI Films (along with Ealing, British Lion, Associated British, Anglo Amalgamated, etc) that are now part of Studio Canal.

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Poster: billymays55 Date: Apr 23, 2012 4:09am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Woman of Straw (1964)

My argument is that the film is abandoned, therefore public domain. They would have to have a chain of title all the way from 1964 to 2012. Proof of how it got from Novus Films Ltd. to MGM/UA now. Just like a car, land, or any other property there is a chain of title that goes from the first owner down to the current owner. People and studios have claimed/renewed titles they don't own before in the past. Example: Wade Williams etc.

So if MGM/UA had any rights to this film they would have renewed it regardless of the automatic renewal.

They probably just still have some kind of TV rights because it was in some kind of United Artists package of movies and that is why it is only available streaming on Netflix on TV.

So therefore abandoned and there is no person to claim the auto-renewal.

Also weird how it's never been released on DVD in UK or USA.....

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Poster: Administrator, Curator, or StaffVideo-Cellar Date: Apr 23, 2012 4:42am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Woman of Straw (1964)

Your main misconception here is that abandoment puts a work into the public domain, which it does not.

It doesn't matter whether the original copyright claimant still exists, which it does, by the way. This is a foreign film so had it at anytime entered the public domain (it has never) its copyright would have been restored under GATT/URAA, regardless to whether there was an original copyright owner to claim it. If the original claimant no longer existed either a successor-in-interest could claim or the film would become an orphaned copyright work (which is not public domain).

MGM did not renew every film it released. There are dozens of MGM and UA films in the public domain. It has missed the renewal of many of its films in the auto-renewal period.

The US Copyright Office's database shows a chain of ownership in the MGM/UA corporate names for this film dating from an early 80s transfer from UA to the MGM/UA company until the 2005 security transfer of the MGM catalogue. The renewal date falls in the middle of that time.

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Poster: billymays55 Date: Apr 23, 2012 3:50pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Woman of Straw (1964)

I just looked at the early 80's transfer you spoke of and that does not mean anything. It was just a document showing United Artist putting there catalog up for loan collateral with 11,000 other some odd titles (some of which are even public domain if you read some of the titles). This is not a chain of ownership or proof of rights. It even states at the end of the document: "This is not a legal document."

United Artists doesn't own the film they just distributed it.

This post was modified by billymays55 on 2012-04-23 22:50:52

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Poster: Administrator, Curator, or StaffVideo-Cellar Date: Apr 23, 2012 4:06pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Woman of Straw (1964)

Across 110th Street & 1702 other titles; theatrical features, cartoons &...

Type of Work: Recorded Document
Document Number: V2235P404
Date of Recordation: 1987-02-03
Entire Copyright Document: V2235 P377-462
Date of Execution: 19Dec86
Title: Across 110th Street & 1702 other titles; theatrical features, cartoons & television programming. (Part 005 of 008)
Notes: Copyright assignment.
Party 1: M G M/U A Communications Company (formerly known as United Artists Corporation)
Party 2: United Artists Pictures, Inc.
Links: List of Titles

Names: MGM/UA Communications Company
United Artists Corporation
United Artists Pictures, Inc.

That is a recorded copyright assignment.

None of this matters anyway. The film was registered properly and contains a valid notice. It is tied up in copyright for 95 years regardless of what happens to the owners. If they did disappear, unfortunately they have not, the film might become orphaned, not public domain. These are different things. Using an orphaned work is still coipyright infringement, even if there isn't a complaining owner.

The "This is not a legal document" warning is the USCO's way of making people pay for official copies of documents from the database. It comes up on every database list, regardless of what they are: copyright assignment, collateral assignment, security transfer, quit claim, etc.

This post was modified by Video-Cellar on 2012-04-23 23:06:29

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Poster: Administrator, Curator, or Staffgarthus1 Date: Apr 23, 2012 5:23pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Woman of Straw (1964)

If aliens are watching, I am sure that they would be amazed at 95 year copyright terms. The stupidity of tying up one's work for this time period cannot be undertsated. There is quiclky developing a sufficiently sized Public Domain collection of items, that the insistence on 95 year term retrictions on use will put all of this copyrighted crap where most of it belongs, in the dustbin of history. To call this stuff art is a joke, when it has become big business whose main intent is on the fleecing of the sheeple and the generating of cash. I for one refuse to pay to view their work at such extortionary rates and with such immoral restrictions on its use.

Gerry

This post was modified by garthus1 on 2012-04-24 00:23:47

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Poster: billymays55 Date: Apr 24, 2012 8:43pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Woman of Straw (1964)

So your saying if I purchase a piece of property and I have the deed to the property then I die and I don't leave it to anybody (therefore abandoned/orphaned). A successor-in-interest (let's say an immediate family member who lived in my house at one time but had nothing to do with owning it or is not left to them) can just move in and claim they own it after I die?


Using that logic who's to say to that original owner who sold me the property can now come back and claim it?

That's why they have the BLM (Bureau of Land Management) who would turn the abandoned/orphaned property into public land for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.

I don't see the logic in this at all.

So it seems logical that the film should fall into the public domain right?

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Poster: Administrator, Curator, or StaffVideo-Cellar Date: Apr 25, 2012 2:09am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Woman of Straw (1964)

Real estate and chattel (ie physical property other than real estate) is generally passed along based on statutory and common law principles of inheritance. If you own property and die intestate your property will go to your immediate next-of-kin, no matter how distantly related they are. It is only if you die intestate and have no immeadiate kin, no successors-in-interest, or others with a claim on your property (creditors, etc.), that your property may become state property.

Intellectual property has different principles of transfer. If the principal author of a "work" dies before the renewal or extension terms commence, the successors-in-interest are alowed to claim the copyright for the remaining term(s). With works-for-hire, if a company owning a copyright is taken over by another company or sells its rights, there is no reason why the new parent company cannot claim the copyright as a successor-in-interest (refereed to as a "PWH" in the USCO catalogue [Person/Party With History]) to the original company. There is currently no mechanism for an abandoned copyright to be rendered to the public domain.

Most films are not in the public domain due to abandonment. Take any of the major studios and their films that are PD, it is usually because of some clerical errors rather than concious abandment or release to the public domain.

This post was modified by Video-Cellar on 2012-04-25 09:09:34

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Poster: billymays55 Date: Apr 24, 2012 4:52am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Woman of Straw (1964)

Thanks for the information it was very informative...

But isn't that the whole concept of public domain films is that they are abandoned or orphaned works, no longer have ownership, therefore belong to the public to build upon and do what they wish with them?


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